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  • Monica DuBois

Caught in Adultery

Updated: Mar 19


Hath No Man Condemned Thee?          John 8:10   

The feast of Tabernacles was coming to an end and the man was looking at her yet again. She felt his stare pierce her. She hungered for attention, to be seen, to be heard, and to be loved. She would watch how other men treated their wives, and it tugged at her heart. Why was she not good enough for her husband? Why did he just use her and toss her aside?

People were coming and going on the last day of the feast. The man was close to her as she fastened the loose palm frond on the roof of the shed built for the feast. He came into the shed and visited with her husband. She didn’t dare stare too long, but then he returned her gaze as she served him a drink, and “accidentally” brushed against her.

The next day he appeared and looked at her, then directed his eyes to a cave on the small mountain in front of them and he nodded. She put her hand on her cheek and looked down to cover her blush. He was quite handsome. He disappeared then she saw him standing by the cave entrance, he looked straight at her and smiled. She looked around. The feast was over. People were milling about busily dismantling their sheds to get back to their routines after the eight days of feasting. They were occupied packing up their things, gathering kids, and wandering back to their homes.

As her husband took apart their family’s shed, she took a bunch of palm fronds, dragged them to the base of the hill, and placed them with the other discarded fronds. Then she darted up the slope, hoping her husband and family didn’t notice her.

The cool of the cave confronted the heat of her face as she slipped inside. He caught her up in his arms. She blindly embraced him. They were entangled on the floor as he whispered into her ear. She relished his words. When her eyes adjusted to the dark, there lurking in the shadows were other men. He covered her scream with his hand, but guilt had already shut her mouth. The men grabbed her up and walked her down the hill into the village, where the Pharisees joined them.

She looked at the passersby pleading for help with her eyes, shame sealed her lips. More men joined them as they took her toward the temple. Refusing to struggle, she walked solemnly trying to keep in stride with this rough, angry mob. She looked for the man that took her to this dismal place in her life, he was nowhere to be found among them.

These men informed her that according to the law she had to be stoned because she was caught in the act of adultery. Her shame grew with each hurried step. Her husband, father, mother, and her siblings would all know soon.

The men gripped her arms tightly. She was glad for it, she felt faint. It was horrific to think she would be stoned in front of all these people.

They entered the temple and flung her at the man who was speaking and then they shouted, “Master, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what do you say?”

Her head was down to avoid the stares. She winced with each accusation, and then she swallowed and held her breath.

The Master stooped down into her view, she stared at Him. Her accusers taunted Him and kept up the barrage of scoffs pointing at her. Ignoring them all, he put his finger in the dirt and wrote.

He was serene, then he stared into her eyes as he stood back up. She forgot her ordeal for a moment. Then He spoke out to the crowd and broke her spell. “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.”


She looked at the crowd and spied her husband but rested her gaze on the Master as He bent back to the ground and started writing again. There were murmurs all around her, but the noises of the accusations died off. With the swoosh of their priestly garments, the Pharisees and those "witnesses" left. Her eyes stayed on this stooping man.

She exhaled when He lifted himself and looked into her face again. She blinked, inhaled, and stood back from Him as He moved closer and whispered, “Woman, where are your accusers?” They looked around together. Then He looked at her husband. A little louder now, “Does no man condemn you?” 

He came closer again and connected his eyes with hers. Startled, she found her voice, “No man, Lord.”

Jesus said even louder, “Neither do I condemn you: go, and sin no more.”

Where the others captured her for themselves, He had set her free.  

The crowd in the temple was silent as they witnessed this exchange.

In verse 12, Jesus then looked to the crowd with a hand on her shoulder, He declared, “…I am the light of the world: he that follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”

The crowd wondered at the Pharisees backing down to this teacher, confused they stared at Jesus and this woman that He had released from the law. The Pharisees heard his proclamation and came back to challenge Him, but with the fear of Jesus, their tongues and hands were kept from seizing Him. It was not yet His time (verse 20).




Shame is part of the darkness. Yet Jesus is the Light of the world if you follow Him.

For this unnamed woman in scripture, she had a life-altering experience. We are not told about her after this incident. Since she was forgiven and set free, do you think this woman was tempted into adultery again?

What does this tell you about the power of Jesus’ forgiveness and the world’s condemnation?


“He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her,” He made this statement in front of her accusers. The men knew their scheme to entrap this woman. They, being aware of their sin, could not pick up a stone and cast it at her. Each man was convicted in his heart by the truth, they left the scene of their own accord. There were no accusers left to convict this woman. Jesus knew the law. There had to be two to three witnesses to convict an adulterer. Jesus rescued her and He kept the law. 

“Woman, where are those thine accusers?” Jesus asked her this question. He knew she needed to acknowledge there was no one left to accuse her. Speaking the words, “No man, Lord” confirmed to her heart she was free from their accusations according to the law.

In adultery, Jesus knew the man was to be stoned along with the woman according to the law. The Pharisees knew this too. Their plan was flawed. Jesus found the loophole they missed.

Jesus applied the law, with truth, grace, love, and mercy to this woman's situation. She stood through the worst of it, the painful accusations, her vulnerability, and her guilt, and she received what she did not deserve, mercy, through a Savior who allowed her to exit the dark cave of sin and enter into the light of repentance before Him. 

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